Commentary on the Gospel of
Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest
Last week I was in Colorado visiting my sister and brother-in-law who recently bought their first home in Morrison. I took advantage of their close proximity to the mountains and hiked trails every day I was there. On my last hike on my last day there, I quickly discovered that the trail I chose was much more difficult than I thought. In recognizing the difficulty of the trail ahead of me, I chose to keep moving forward rather than turning around and going back. Instead of experiencing the easy entrance into presence and attentiveness to the creation around me, as I typically do on a hike, I found my mind racing, wondering if the hike was going to get easier at some point, or when I was going to cross paths with another hiker, etc. As my mind raced, some of the bigger questions that I have in my life right now started coming up too, and all of a sudden, I found myself overwhelmed. I eventually took a deep breath and then started asking God these questions that were racing through my mind. In this moment of difficulty, of not being sure of what will come, of being overwhelmed by the questions flooding through my mind, I turned to God. Of course, God didn’t have answers for me in the moment... Maybe one day I will find the answers, maybe I won’t. But, in that moment, it felt so good to ask the questions and trust that whether or not I find the answers, I experience peace having shared them with God.
So, as I come to the Gospel for today, I have read it and reread it, reflected and brought it to prayer, and find myself really challenged by Jesus’ choices. I thought about avoiding the Gospel in my reflection, about turning back on the trail and finding the easier route. But, instead, I’m going to engage in the challenge by asking questions. Questions I don’t have answers to yet. But, these questions are allowing me to enter into prayer with God on this Gospel as conversation.
If you, too, find this Gospel difficult, I invite you to bring your questions to prayer. I have shared my questions below. Keep moving forward, even when the trail seems more difficult than you wanted, and invite God to be with you there.
Why did you ignore the woman who came to you in distress?
What am I to learn from your decision to only help a person of your faith?
How can I find the compassionate and loving God in this experience?
Finally, as you close your prayer with the readings of today, I share with you words that challenge and invite me to engage the questions:
“Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were locked rooms or books written in a foreign language. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live your way into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke